ATSC STB Tuners: Is there a recognized "best" one? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 06-16-2014, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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ATSC STB Tuners: Is there a recognized "best" one?

We have a house at a lake community, a good amount of tall trees, about 65 miles away from Chicago as the crow flies. Right now we're able to get a few channels with one of the coupon SD converter boxes and they come in fine.

I'm wanting to get a converter box that has Component hookup as the TV we have is a 32" LCD and has a Component option, so we can watch HD OTA on it.

Was wondering if there were just accepted really good tuners (6th gen, 7th gen, is there an 8th gen?) that would not only allow the Component hookup but also possibly tune in more channels?

EDIT: Removed local business TV Fool, this location is of current antenna:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e1c6878a95c5b4

Thanks ahead of time for any into on this!

Chuck

Last edited by chucky2; 06-18-2014 at 11:15 AM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 06-16-2014, 09:57 AM
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When the converter boxes first came out, they had the best tuners to meet the gov specs. Now, the TVs have caught up and have tuners that are just as good.

I don't know of any recognized "best" one, but you can look at this listing, and then go to the thread for each box for comments:
The Official AVS HDTV STB Synopsis!
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/25-hdtv-technical/179095-official-avs-hdtv-stb-synopsis.html

The problem is, the tuners in TVs and boxes can vary a lot in sensitivity, and ability to handle multipath problems, from model to model. What I do, is to compare two tuners side-by-side by using a variable attenuator and a splitter to find out which tuner drops out last as I reduce the signal.

Code:
                                  tuner #1
                                 /
antenna > attenuator > splitter >
                                 \
                                  tuner #2
With my equipment, my SONY KDL22L5000 has about the same sensitivity as my Apex DT502 and Centronics ZAT502HD boxes. My later SONY KDL22bx320 is about 2 dB more sensitive.
http://www.megalithia.com/elect/aeri...ttpoorman.html

You have a lot of strong signals in the green at the top of your TVFool listing. What channels do you need?

The antenna that you are using can also make a big difference.

If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
Lord Kelvin, 1883
www.megalithia.com/elect/aerialsite/dttpoorman.html

Last edited by rabbit73; 06-27-2014 at 05:13 PM.
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post #3 of 17 Old 06-16-2014, 02:03 PM
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What CECB do you have now? If it's a CM-7000 or Zenith/Insignia don't really expect anything any better AFA reception/multipath, they were about as good as it gets even by todays standards.
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post #4 of 17 Old 06-16-2014, 02:28 PM
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I agree about the Insignia. They were made by LG and the first STB I had before I got my HDTV was an LG LST-4200A. Worked perfectly from 50+ miles. That's why I bought an LG HDTV, and the results were the same. When the digital switch came, I picked up a couple of Insignia's for the analog tv's and they are as sensitive and stable as the LG HDTV is.
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post #5 of 17 Old 06-17-2014, 03:03 PM
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There is a new Insignia converter box now sold at Best Buy, but I don't think it is the original LG made version. Not sure how well it performs. For an HD version, the PHD-208 has a good tuner.
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post #6 of 17 Old 06-17-2014, 05:40 PM
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^^^^^ if true, that's too bad. I have two of the original Insignia boxes bought with the coupon program. One of them is out in the garage feeding an old analog tv. Certainly not the cleanest or temp controlled environment but it is still working flawlessly.
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post #7 of 17 Old 06-18-2014, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Everyone for the replies!

Right now we're using one of those home brew antennas that is a piece of wood in the vertical position with like 4 V's horizontally. It was assembled without much planning or care, but amazingly, it does actually work. We do have another manufactured antenna that my aunt got from her mom when she moved out of her last place, I'll get a picture of both so you guys can see what I'm talking about.

As for the converter box we have now, that I did get a picture of. It's an RCA branded box, only has Composite hookups. On the bottom of it, it looks to be made by Intertek, model DTA800B1.

My goal is to get HD quality picture and of course get as many channels as I can reasonably get. Not willing to pour concrete and put up a tower or climb up one of the pine trees here, but, no problem putting in an attic mounted antenna.

Will post up a pic of our home brew and manufactured antennas later this week when I get back from out of town...

Chuck
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post #8 of 17 Old 06-18-2014, 10:54 AM
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In the TVFool results you posted you said something about a business one block away. It would be best to post it from your actual location because one block away from the receiving location may make a difference depending on what's around you, especially if you are going to install the antenna in your attic. Attic/indoor installations do work but quite often they are interference issues so using your exact location is very helpful.
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post #9 of 17 Old 06-18-2014, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I went outside with my phone and a free GPS app that said it was accurate at the time to 5 meters and took a location right at where the current antenna is hung on the side of the house:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e1c6878a95c5b4

I'll edit the OP to have this as the location as well.

Chuck
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post #10 of 17 Old 06-18-2014, 01:32 PM
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You may also want to look at the iview, Homeworx, and Naxa tuner boxes. They are HD and have an HDMI output. The Naxa box has component connection.
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post #11 of 17 Old 06-18-2014, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Cool Tyler thx, will check out the Naxa! Unfortunately our TV only has one digital connection, DVI no less (but it is supposed to have HDCP), and it's being used by the DVD player. I'd use Component from the DVD to TV, but my guess is in the next year or so, a Blu-ray player will make its way out here and even though it's a 720p TV, I thought one needed to have HDCP to preserve the player outputting 720p/1080i? That's the reason I am looking for something that outputs Component...

Chuck

Last edited by chucky2; 06-18-2014 at 04:08 PM. Reason: corrected HDCP
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post #12 of 17 Old 06-18-2014, 04:28 PM
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Yes, the odds are very good that your next Blu-ray player will have HDMI but not component.

My very humble setup:
Man Cave:Vizio E500i-A1 "Smart TV" (50-in 1080p 120Hz LED/LCD, has Netflix app.), Blu-ray players (Sony BDP-S3100, old LG BD390), Roku (the original model: N1000), PC (Windows 7), Comcast Internet (25Mbps/5Mbps).
Bedroom:LG 32LV3400-UA TV (32-in 768p 60Hz LED/LCD), HD DVR (Motorola RNG200N), Xfinity Comcast cable (Digital Starter Package), DVD/VHS player.
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post #13 of 17 Old 06-18-2014, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Now that I think about it...we DO have a Blu-ray player at home that has Component out. What happens when a Blu-ray player is playing a disc that has HDCP flag set, and the set is outputting via Component? Does it truly downscale to 480i or something like that? Or will it actually output at 720p/1080i? I realize this is a thread hijack, but it does have meaning to this thread. If I can get a converter box that has HDMI instead of Component, and can depend on the Blu-ray player to output 720p/1080i via Component even if a Blu-ray has the HDCP flag set, then that would open up to using an ATSC converter that has HDMI and not Component.

Maybe I need to do some digging on that...
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post #14 of 17 Old 06-18-2014, 07:41 PM
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The Image Constraint Token is what you are talking about. The ICT was part of the Blu-ray AACS standard in the same way that HDCP over HDMI was.

Players that meet the Blu-ray licensing requirements have to respect the ICT - which was a flag which if enabled would restrict analogue component outputs to 960x540 image resolution or less. (Presumably this could have been within a 1920x1080 frame output - as 540p isn't a widespread standard - it would just be a poorer quality 1920x1080 output with quarter the resolution?).

AIUI The ICT flag hasn't been actually implemented on commercial discs yet (I may be wrong - there was much discussion but I'm not sure it actually happened) and AIUI players now don't commonly have analogue component outputs. I suspect the chances of the ICT rearing its head are quite low these days.
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post #15 of 17 Old 06-20-2014, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post
.....AIUI players now don't commonly have analogue component outputs. I suspect the chances of the ICT rearing its head are quite low these days.
It's been several years since one could purchase a new BD player with component outputs here in the US, you still see them second hand but not new. HDMI is about the only output on most BD players, some may also have a lowly composite output.
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post #16 of 17 Old 06-22-2014, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucky2 View Post
I went outside with my phone and a free GPS app that said it was accurate at the time to 5 meters and took a location right at where the current antenna is hung on the side of the house:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e1c6878a95c5b4
You don't have to go to that trouble to get an accurate location for TVFool. If you use TVFool's "Maps" option, you can move a marker around on a zoomable map, and even switch to a satellite view so you can set the location right on your roof!
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post #17 of 17 Old 06-28-2014, 06:09 AM
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good,My goal is to get HD quality picture and of course get as many channels as I can reasonably get. Not willing to pour concrete and put up a tower or climb up one of the pine trees here, but, no problem putting in an attic mounted antenna.thanks
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